PUBLISHED: May 23, 2014 4 min read

In-Depth Topic Research

As SEO’s, there are many tools available today for us to conduct research and evaluate user intent. Depending on your need or the needs of your client we have access to crawlers, keyword exploration, rank checkers and site health evaluators such as Google Webmaster Tools.

I avoided using the term keyword research as the method discussed today exceeds researching phrases and can be applied to an entire topic.

First up is the suggest tool by SEO Chat. This is extremely valuable to me as it simultaneously searches four major search engines: Google, Bing, Amazon and YouTube (I know Amazon isn’t technically a search engine but they do have their own unique algorithm with high search volume). The search terms you enter are listed by most popular choices first, and then sorted alphabetically. After the results are returned we are then able to export all suggestions into a notepad format which we can then copy and paste into Excel. Here is a quick reference:

  • Go to
  • Enter Query

    SEO Chat Keyword research tool
    SEO Chat Keyword research tool
  • Export Results

    SEO Chat Keyword Export
    SEO Chat Keyword Export
  • Results will be exported in a *.txt format
  • Copy from Notepad, paste into Excel

    SEO Chat Keyword List in Excel
    Past Keyword List into Excel

You will now have a full list of phrases to work with separated nicely in one row. This may come in handy if you’re looking to do a comparison between two similar searches.

What is the search volume for those terms?

After you choose the terms you want to use, head on over to Google AdWords to use the keyword planner. This will allow us to see monthly search volume as well as traffic estimates.

Be mindful of the keywords you select, as pointed out by +Qiana Mestrich, some of the search volume may not be 100% accurate as a few of the most popular terms may be less than a year old.

What are people saying about your selection online?

After you choose the phrase you want to work with you can head over to Buzzsumo to see how it is trending on across social media platforms. This is important because, unless you’re in a niche market, you don’t want to choose something that may not garner a lot of traffic.

Screenshot of Buzzsumo
Buzzsumo Screenshot
  • Go to
  • Enter the term or phrase you wish to explore
  • In the left-nav, select what you would like to search:
    • Articles
    • Infographics
    • Guest Posts
    • Giveaways
    • Interviews
    • Videos
    • Then choose the time frame you want to search
      • Past 24 hours
      • Past Week
      • Past Month
      • Past 6 months
      • Click Filter (or search)

Once completed, you will see a list of content sorted by most shared first. This view can be changed to see a list of top shares sorted by Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

At the top of the screen there is a second tab labeled Influencers. Very important since this will provide us with a list of the most influential people in the field we’re researching. *pro tip – click the checkbox to ignore broadcasters so the results displayed will only be from real people.*

Why is this important? This is everyone you want and need to reach out to in your or your clients industry. This list is the key to your success. You are able to see what these people are talking about and where their content is being shared.

I highly encourage you to try this method as you will discover a new approach to creating and sharing content. If you’ve use this method already I’d love to hear how you benefited from it.